What is the Safe Haven Act?
The State of Iowa has joined 30 other states in creating Safe Havens for infants.
The Safe Haven Act is a law that allows parents - or another person who has the parent's authorization - to leave an infant up to 14 days old at a hospital or health care facility without fear of prosecution for abandonment.
Who is a Safe Haven?
A Safe Haven is an institutional health facility - such as a hospital or health care facility. According to the law - an "institutional health facility" means:
- A "hospital" as defined in Iowa Code section 135B.1, including a facility providing medical or health services that is open twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week and is a hospital emergency room, or
- A "health care facility" as defined in Iowa Code section 135C.1 means a residential care facility, a nursing facility, an intermediate care facility for persons with mental illness, or an intermediate care facility for persons with mental retardation.